Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This Obviously Isn't Going To Work

With construction continuing on Constitution Drive, the Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) Transfer Center for Pembroke East has been temporarily moved again, with buses being sent on The Mother Of All Bizarre Detours.

The Transfer Center has been moved to a location on Jeanne Street behind Pembroke Mall "for 2-3 weeks". If the location wasn't baffling enough, you'll have to ride the detour that buses are having to take getting out of there. Rather than turning around in the Mall parking lot, they make a circuit through the Pembroke Meadows neighborhood. (The first time I rode it, I thought the driver must be lost.) They eventually come out beside the Little Israel store, turning south on Independence Boulevard, heading back towards the normal route. It adds about 5 minutes to travel times for bus routings where HRT already has trouble trying to make schedule.

Did anyone inquire with Pembroke Mall management about having the buses temporarily use their rear (rarely used) parking area? It could have been set up like the detour at Military Circle when the circus is at Military Circle Mall.

This will obviously throw everything FUBAR within 21 days. For bus drivers, the Pembroke Meadows circuit and running regularly late. For HRT Customer Service, having to field all the angry calls. For bus riders, late buses and a lousy Transfer Center. For Pembroke Meadows residents, buses racing through their neighborhood 18 1/2 hours of the day. Stay tuned, folks: this will get very ugly before it's over with.


Michael Ragsdale said...

Oh gawd...Think I'm going to have to go for a ride. A Military Circle Detour type of detour would make sense (yes, I've been to that Back Parking Lot plenty of times)

Avenging Archangel said...

There were a couple options that made much more sense here. However, both would require temporarily using private property, so permissions would have to be secured.


As mentioned, go into the rear of the Mall lot per the Military Circle template.


Similarly, use the former HQ property. To do so well:

1. Set up temporary stops along both sides of Virginia Beach Boulevard in front of Pembroke Mall.

2. Put out a portajohn or two.

How long before Fuddruckers would start screaming? As any bus regular knows, if you see someone walking from Pembroke East to Kmart, it probably isn't to go shopping.

Michael Ragsdale said...

Fuddruckers? Scream? First day :) Yep, a porto-john for employees only, a-la Evelyn Butts. Right (and how long before we chew out Customer Service to get it for us passengers). I'm one of the guilty ones taking a 10-39 at K-Mart.

Be just like the old McDonalds at Ocean View Station. Commode for Customers Only (why do you think drivers get a $1 menu Double Cheesburger, to go?)

All kidding aside, Pierce Transit got permission from Tacoma Mall while their Tacoma Mall Transit Center was being repaved. Of course, the mall had them use the part of the parking lot that needed to be replaced anyways and any damage Pierce did, Pierce had to fix. There was even four portos (two for passengers and two for employees). Anyone walking into JCPenny for the facilities would be yelled at by Mall Security (there were several signs saying "Restrooms for Customers Only"). Regulars knew to use the Tacoma Dome Station (about a 30 minute bus ride away) indoor bathrooms, which were actually clean.

Michael Ragsdale said...

Today I got to ride the detour for the Outbound 20 and the 1/36 to TCC. Didn't get to TCC until roughly 4 PM (should've been there at 3:45) - the detour is that bad. #1 the driver was having trouble changing her sign at Pembroke so we didn't leave until 3:14, then we had to go through the neighborhood (add 10 minutes). #2 this was her first time on the 36 solo (and her first time on the detour ever).

Now that I got to use the detour, I don't understand why HRT didn't ask permission to use either unused parking lot.